Do you know anything about Nine Below Zero? I really didn't. But take a look at what Bruce Eder has to say about them over at All Music:
Nine Below Zero started life in South London during 1977, in the midst of the punk rock boom in England -- but their sound and inspiration were so totally counterintuitive to what was going on in punk rock that they scarcely seemed to be part of that movement, apart from their extremely energetic attack on their instruments. Rather than noise for its own sake or auto-destruction, their inspiration lay in classic Chicago blues (though John Mayall's early music and that of the Who and the Kinks from early in their careers also figured into their sound). Dennis Greaves (lead vocals, guitar), Peter Clark (bass), and Kenny Bradley (drums) -- soon joined by Mark Feltham (who actually replaced a teacher of theirs who had sat in on the early gigs) on vocals and harmonica -- were schoolmates and friends who shared a love of blues; all had all come into the world in the early '60s, and might well have resigned themselves to having missed the boat for the British blues revival by virtue of having been born in the midst of it. Instead, they reached back to that era and found themselves pegged as part of the "mod revival" in the midst of the punk era.
By 1980, they'd been signed to A&M Records' British division and took the bold step of making their major-label debut a live album from the Marquee Club in London -- to judge from the results, one heartily wished that some of the earlier bands that inspired them had displayed similar daring. Live at the Marquee, recorded on June 16, 1980 -- by which time Stix Burkey had replaced Bradley on the drums -- was a success and led to their follow-up album. For their sophomore effort, Don't Point Your Finger, they were determined to translate their live energy into the studio and turned to no less a producer than Glyn Johns, who had worked with the Rolling Stones and the Who in their respective best years. The resulting record reached number 56 on the British charts.
There's more, if you want it. But that's enough for now. I bring them up because they have just made a record with Glenn Tilbrook. It's called "The Co-Operative." It comes out on 10/24, or you can order it now over HERE. I suggest that you do.
My friend handed me copy, winked and said, "I think you'll dig this." This was the understatement of the year.
This record has been playing non-stop since I got my dirty little mitts on it this past Friday. It's the best Squeeze album since "Argybargy." It's Rockpile meets The Flying Burrito Brothers. It's blue-eyed soul meets white boy blues. It's The Beatles at The Cavern.
I can't help it.
Buy this record.
The cool cover below is also on the album, but it's hardly the best track. It ain't bad, but it's not what I'm pushing, and it certainly is not the best representation of just how amazing this record is. It's just all I could find on You Tube. The cover of Johnny Paycheck's "Satin Sheets" is one to push. Or the opener, "Chat Line Harry." (I can't remember when a song made me smile so hard.) Or "Because," which another friend called "the best pop song of the year," and just happens to precede "You Never Give Me Your Money." Get it?